Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7 in January 2020. This could leave anyone using the operating system at serious risk of a data breach and the NCSC recommends migrating to a new system in advance of support coming to an end.

There isn’t a lot of time left to migrate to a new system, but it is worth taking the time to migrate in the way that will be most beneficial for your business. Proper consideration when it comes to your migration can allow you to use this change to your advantage.

We’ve put together these tips to turning the end of Windows 7 into an opportunity to get the most out of your digital infrastructure.

 

Back up your files and data

If you take your data protection seriously, your information should be backed up anyway. If you haven’t already got safely stored copies, now is the time to make sure you have secure copies of all your important files.

Generally new operating systems wouldn’t compromise saved information, but you can never be too careful. There is still a risk that something will get mislaid as your machines update and it’s always worth making sure that your work is safely backed up in the case of an accident.

Plan your migration process

Moving to an entirely new operating system doesn’t have to be difficult. Most new operating systems install largely automatically, so there is very little you need to do.

However, even the easiest transition can still be time consuming. This can cause disruption to your day to day business. Laying out a plan for the least intrusive way to migrate can help streamline the whole process and get you back to business as soon as possible.

You might want to plan your migration for a time when people are out of the office, or have your machines update in small groups to minimise the amount of time your entire infrastructure is immobile. The way that will work best for you will depend entirely on the structure of your business. It would be wise to work out what will best suit your organisation and plan accordingly.

Review how well your environment suits your business needs

Given you have to change operating systems anyway, it’s worth evaluating how effective Windows 7 has been for you. Consider whether any of your business needs could be better catered to by your new system, or if there is some way a new system could make your processes more efficient or easier to manage.

Identify anything that isn’t working as well as it could be when it comes to your digital activity. If anything could be improved by a more suitable operating system, make a note of it.

This is an opportunity to make sure that the tools you use on a daily basis are the best ones for your business.

Choose an operating system that best suits you

The obvious choice for people who are used to Windows 7 seems to be move to Windows 10. This is, at least, what Microsoft recommends.

But if you have the time, it’s worth comparing operating systems to find one that best fits your needs. Compare the weaknesses you identified in your review to the primary features of the operating systems currently on the market. There might be one better suited to the needs of your digital infrastructure and the processes your work requires.

Use this as an opportunity to ensure that your business is using the tools that allow you to work as efficiently and effectively as possible.